When it comes to our medical insurance policy, most people might just decide on a policy they like and then leave it to auto-renew year after year. If you are happy with this arrangement, then there is no issue whatsoever. However, if you take the time to review your policy at least once per year, you may find that you can get a better deal somewhere down the line – or to address your changing needs.
All you have to do is see what your plan is offering, how much it costs every year, and what other plans or policy providers are offering. Who knows, you may eventually find out that you are paying for benefits that you are not really making use of and may want to switch to a cheaper plan to save some cash. Here are some of the crucial things you need to think about before you renew your medical policy.
Treat your annual renewal like a health check-up
Exactly how you would visit your doctor every year for an annual health check-up, your medical policy renewal is an excellent time to figure out what works for you right now and what doesn’t. Carefully go over what has happened over the past year with regards to your benefits, costs, and network of doctors.
Ask questions such as:
- Did you go to the doctor as much as you thought you would?
- Did you use any benefits you didn’t expect?
- How much did it cost to see a doctor?
- Was it more or less than you thought it would be?
- Were you able to go to the doctors and clinics that you wanted to?
By taking the time to really scrutinise which benefits you were able to utilise and how much it all costs, you will be ready to look into your renewal with a better sense of whether your current plan is meeting the current needs of you and your family.
Take note of the numbers
A typical policy renewal notice will generally have information about how your plan will work for the upcoming year. For the most part, your plan should work the exact same as the previous year. However, there may be some minor changes in your plan that you should pay attention to. Take the time to read over and check everything so you are not caught off-guard when you go in for care. Some of the important terms that should be reviewed include:
This is the amount you have to pay each month for your health insurance. Sometimes, inflation may cause health and medical costs to go up. As such, premiums may also increase to keep up with these changes. If you notice an increase in premium costs, you may want to re-evaluate your budget.
This is the health care you get when you are not sick to help you stay healthy. Preventive care examples include your annual checkup, vaccines and immunisations, and health screenings. There can be differences between how much preventive care is fully covered, which can impact your health costs.
Other things to look out for can include your network of doctors and pharmacies your plan covers, copays, and coinsurance, but these are more niche cases and may be very different depending on your plan and circumstances.
Extra plan benefits
While health insurance policies mostly cover medical, drug, and dental coverage, they might also come with a few additional perks and benefits that can save you additional money or help you achieve better health. When reviewing your policy renewal information, consider taking a look at any extra benefits or perks available.
For example, Prudential’s PRUMY Medical Plus plan offers to reimburse customers up to RM1,000 If there is no claim incurred in the preceding year. This can be used for the following under the pretense of Preventive Care.
- Medical Checkup
- Diagnostic Test
- Subscription Programs – Health and Fitness programs under digital platform
These kinds of benefits tend to be left forgotten by people, but they can really add up over time and can be invaluable when you need them the most.
Choosing to renew – or not
Once you are done reviewing all the information on your policy renewal, you can choose to continue using said policy if you are completely satisfied with the changes. Follow the instructions from your insurance company and you should have a smooth renewal. In many cases, you do not need to do anything and your health insurance will renew automatically.
However, if you are unsatisfied with your plan and you think there is a better one for you out there, you can begin the process of switching health insurance policies. The first thing to do is talk to your existing health insurance company. They do not want to lose a customer if they can help it, so they will try to find another policy for you that fits your needs.
Other than that, you can review health insurance plans offered by different insurance companies. This can be done online, but you can also go over policies on the phone with a member of staff.
No matter what you choose to do, it might be a good idea to hold on to your renewal notice for your records. If you have any questions about your renewal notice, don’t hesitate to call your health plan’s service centre.
If you are not sure whether you should renew your health insurance or look elsewhere, you could try looking at iMoney’s medical insurance directory. You can use it to search for a number of great policies that are currently available and hopefully find the perfect one for your needs.